Jeff and Pam
Pam and I have just returned from a fantastic holiday in South Africa. We both had a wonderful time and will undoubtedly be returning. The sights, the people, the feel of the country, the food, the wine, the climate (where do I stop!) all contributed to us having a fabulous time. The trouble is it's even difficult to do that small part of the country justice in 16 nights - let alone wander further afield!
I'll give you a bit of feedback on the hotels etc below as hopefully this will be supportive for you in organising further holidays. We have no doubt that your efforts and advice added much to our holiday and we are very appreciative of that. Certainly at Turbine Spa and Lavender Guest House we had the pick of the hotel rooms - which clearly added additional enjoyment to our stay.
Highlights in terms of sights : Table Mountain, Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope, Elephant ride, Hermanus (even without seeing too many whales on the day we visited), Swartberg Pass, Hop on and Off Bus, Camps Bay, Kirstenbosch gardens, Gondwana (to a degree), Franschhoek...
Other key positives : the people were just so friendly and welcoming, the food and wine were so good and such good value, we had no issues regarding personal security (but were clearly careful in what we did), driving on the left-hand side of the road, some very good African arts and craft shops.
Victoria and Alfred. Excellent choice for Cape Town and the Waterfront. Impeccable service and attention to detail. Good room. Lavish breakfasts. The ground floor was being redecorated but this didn't really detract from our visit. Excellent location on the Waterfront for hotels and shops. We were lucky to have a loft room facing table mountain.
Turbine Spa. Just a beautiful hotel so imaginatively designed. We had the Seahorse Suite (Rm 101!) which is just a beautiful room. Good location even if a restricted hotel choice within walking distance. Excellent customer care. The one issue we had, which we mentioned to the manager on departure, was the extremely slow service in the restaurant and also the lack of hygiene of the breakfast staff [swilling dirty plates under a cold tap, wiping down cutlery with dirty serviettes etc].
Lavender Guest House. Excellent room (Rm 4) overlooking the lavender field. Friendly and attentive staff, good location with just a quick drive (or 15min walk) to Franschhoek. Lovely views. Good breakfast - but as you'd expect slightly more restricted that the other two. Just a lovely friendly feel.
Restaurants : So many to recommend. Baltazar and Karibu in Cape Town, Le Bon Vivant, Roca and French Connection in Franschhoek.
Gondwana : We were very well looked after and the Huts are a great place to stay. Food was plentiful and excellent and the views spectacular. As a Game Reserve it didn't seem to have enough animals. We saw the 2 rhino, one of the three lions, one of the two elephant herds, giraffes, and a reasonable selection of zebra (inc Cape), and antelopes. They only have 1 cheetah which we didn't see. The ranger said he had seen Leopard poo - but not a Leopard. No sign of Hippos and the Cape Buffalo eluded us. Two of the 4 rides were reasonable successful but the other two were very limited in terms of wildlife. What we expected to be the highlight wasn't so - partly because other attractions were so good and partly that Gondwana was a bit disappointing. We would take your advice on a different park next time.
Car Hire : We were given a small 1.2litre Honda Brio. They said it was a Group C car - but it was disappointing. I would certainly ensure that I had a better can next time. I am concerned that the Brio is not a Group C car as as lots of companies mention the Brio in Group A. It might be worth you checking this ? I would not recommend a Honda Brio for driving across the garden route (inc the Swartberg Pass!!). [Petrol prices are brilliant!]
I am more than happy to give you any more info/details if you like - or support you in securing additional clientele in any way. Just let me know.
We will be going back in the next 2-3 years and will be back to use your services. We're already thinking of the sort of itinerary we would like !
Best Regards and hope business is going well...